Free Won’t

I’m exhausted—didn’t sleep well for the second night in a row, and am still getting used to this schedule (whine, whine—I know). Work went smoothly today, and I’m learning the new cataloging methods. Having a good system makes it a lot easier!The New York Times printed a story on free will today. Basically, the author has collected the views of several scientists and philosophers, most of whom suggest that free will, while complicated, is not really “free.” I’m not sure it matters if we really have free will or if physics determines even our decisions. I think what matters more is whether or not we perceive free will (and most of us do, I think, even if we don’t exercise it). I liked this quote from Einstein (Schopenhauer’s idea): “a human can very well do what he wants, but cannot will what he wants.” Maybe the key difference is between the definitions of “do” and “will.” We aren’t powerless. We still have responsibility.This is exhausting and reminds me why I don’t date philosophers. I do like this, though:


‘We have the power to veto our urges and then to veto our vetoes,’ he said. ‘We have the power of imagination, to see and imagine futures.’ In this regard, causality is not our enemy but our friend, giving us the ability to look ahead and plan. ‘That’s what makes us moral agents,’ Dr. Dennett said. ‘You don’t need a miracle to have responsibility.’


I like it, but I don’t want to beat it to death.

Oh! Good news: I got a PDA for Christmas, and thought something was seriously wrong with it when it wouldn’t turn off for more than 10 seconds yesterday… I called customer support, and get this – all I had to do was delete any birthdays in the first week of January (Greg, that’s you!), and everything was fine. Crazy. For a while I thought maybe it was willing itself on and off. ….there’s some tired humor.


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